Two Columbia County residents became state champions last week at the GISA Class AAA state tennis tournament.
Mitch Snyder, of Martinez, and Caleb Mellinger, of Evans, played pivotal roles on the Westminster boys tennis team this season.
Snyder paired with teammate Philip Mullins to make up the No. 1 doubles team, and Mellinger worked with teammate Robert Long as the No. 2 doubles team.
Each pair served up wins over North Cobb Christian in the state championship finals at Newman Tennis Center in Augusta on Wednesday.
The two wins, combined with victories from singles players Bryce Cockerham, Ryan Walters and Bradley Newton, gave the Wildcats their first boys tennis state championship.
"It's crazy because this is the first time we've ever qualified for the team state tournament," Westminster boys tennis coach Leisa Tebbs said. "This is exciting for us."
The Wildcats knocked off rival and defending state champs Augusta Prep in region play to qualify for state competition.
The team moved on to the state semifinals Wednesday afternoon and swept Stratford Academy. The 5-0 win to knock off North Cobb Christian in the finals gave Westminster the state title.
In the girls GISA Class AAA state tournament, the Augusta Prep Lady Cavaliers finished second overall after reaching the state finals.
After winning the Region 4-AAA championship, Augusta Prep beat Stratford Academy in the semifinals but lost to Deerfield-Windsor in the state championship.
The Lady Cavaliers were led by junior Shikha Jerath and senior Keaton Sanders who won both their state semifinals and finals matches. Sanders, who won 6-2, 6-2 in the championship match, is the team's only senior.
"We're definitely disappointed, but that is the silver lining to all this," Augusta Prep girls tennis coach Chris Dickson said. "We'll have almost everybody back next year."
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